“I want to stand with these women that have come out. I want to have a platform for one out of six women who are sexually assaulted. This is bigger than Bill Cosby. This is about women and violence on women. This is about women finding their voice. I feel that Cosby took my power that evening and that I took my power back.”
Beverly Johnson spoke to “The Today Show”about yesterday’s post for VanityFair.com in which the former supermodel came out as one of Bill Cosby’s (alleged, but come on) victims. In the interview, Johnson discussed how Cosby drugged her espresso drink when she was over at his apartment under the guise of auditioning for a part. While it’s safe to assume that Cosby’s intent was to sexually assault her, he became so enraged when Johnson called him out for what he had done, repeatedly calling him a motherfucker, that he threw her out of his apartment instead. Johnson said she kept quiet for years because she believed coming forward would ruin her, but made the decision to tell her story to stand in solidarity with his other victims. [via Jezebel]
Michigan State University selected conservative journalist and noted rape apologist George Will to speak at the university’s commencement ceremony on Saturday and to receive an honorary doctorate of humanities. Will, who taught at the university for a brief period in the 1970s, penned a horrific op-ed in June in which he suggested that women who come forward to report campus sexual assault receive “coveted status” and “privileges.” Students, sexual assault survivors and advocates are furious at Will’s appearance at the ceremony, especially since MSU is one of several schools undergoing a federal investigation for its handling of previous cases of campus assault. As of this writing, over 800 students plan to protest on campus Saturday morning and the numbers are growing by the minute. Keep reading »
I was a top model during the 70s, a period when drugs flowed at parties and photo shoots like bottled water at a health spa. I’d had my fun and experimented with my fair share of mood enhancers. I knew by the second sip of the drink Cosby had given me that I’d been drugged—and drugged good.
My head became woozy, my speech became slurred, and the room began to spin nonstop. Cosby motioned for me to come over to him as though we were really about to act out the scene. He put his hands around my waist, and I managed to put my hand on his shoulder in order to steady myself. As I felt my body go completely limp, my brain switched into automatic-survival mode. That meant making sure Cosby understood that I knew exactly what was happening at that very moment.
“You are a motherfucker aren’t you?” That’s the exact question I yelled at him as he stood there holding me, expecting me to bend to his will.
Beverly Johnson, one of the first Black supermodels, has written a damning essay for Vanity Fair detailing, for the very first time, that Bill Cosby drugged her — and likely would have raped her if she hadn’t pissed him off so much that he threw her out of his house instead. Johnson says that she met Cosby in the mid-’80s when he invited her to audition for “The Cosby Show.” As we now know is typical of the serial rapist, Cosby invited Johnson to his home to read for a part and then offered her a drink — in this case, espresso — which she at first declined. He insisted and she eventually complied because, she writes, “it felt oddly inappropriate arguing with Bill Cosby.” Almost immediately, as she writes in the excerpt above, she knew she had been drugged, that’s how powerful it was. That’s when she made the decision to call him out, calling him a motherfucker over and over again. Cosby became angry — because, you know, how dare she be angry that he drugged her with the intention of raping her — and grabbed Johnson by her arm and dragged her down the stairs, literally throwing her out of his house and slamming the door behind him. Keep reading »
Speaking out was never about exposing the man who assaulted me. Rather, it was about exposing my shame, letting it dry out in the sun. I did not wish to be contacted by him or to open a criminal investigation. I am in a loving and peaceful place in my life and I am not willing to sacrifice any more of it for this person I do not know, aside from one night I will never forget. That is my choice. …
When I finally chose to share my story, I did not do so in a vacuum. I was inspired by all the brave women who are now coming forward with their own experiences, despite the many risks associated with speaking out. Survivors are so often re-victimized by a system that demands they prove their purity and innocence. They are asked to provide an unassailable narrative when the event itself is hazy, fragmented, and unspeakable. They are isolated and betrayed by people close to them who doubt their reality or are frustrated by their inability to move on. Their most intimate experiences are made public property. …
I was ready to admit to the ways being sexually assaulted has shaped my sense of self as a woman entering adulthood, compromised my emotional security, and haunted me even during the most joyful periods of my life. I hoped I might inspire others to share, and that forming these connections would assist us all in healing.
Lena Dunham has penned a beautiful essay for Buzzfeed about her decision to write about being raped in college in her book Not That Kind Of Girl. The essay is written somewhat in response to conservative critics who have questioned the validity of her story and have gone out of their way to “disprove” it, including trying to track down the man who raped her. Yesterday, I told you about how one former classmate, who happens to be named “Barry,” the pseudonym used in the book, has been mistaken for Dunham’s attacker. Going forward, new printings of Not That Kind Of Girl will be more clear that “Barry” is a pseudonym; Dunham apologizes for the confusion at the beginning of the essay, calling the resemblance between Real Life Barry and Book Rapist Barry “an unfortunate and surreal coincidence.” Keep reading »
Sigh. Here is your daily reminder that human beings can be really, really horrible. Charles C. Johnson (above), a former writer for the conservative Daily Caller and founder of GotNews, published what he claims sources told him is the real name of “Jackie,” the woman featured in Rolling Stone‘s controversial UVA rape article. On Friday, Rolling Stone kinda-sorta retracted the article citing “inconsistencies” in Jackie’s story. Johnson of course doesn’t care that while Jackie’s story allegedly contains inconsistencies (which should have been better reported and fact-checked by Rolling Stone), that does not mean she’s lying about being gang raped by a group of UVA fraternity members. (Rolling Stone edited their letter from the editor and removed the line about their trust in Jackie being “misplaced,” but failed to note the change.) Internet trolls are already ruthless in their treatment of women who have the courage to come forward with allegations of sexual assault; the very fact that Jackie’s story may be in question has made her an easy target for misogynists desperate to beat the drum that women frequently lie about being raped (they don’t). Like those repulsive menaces at 4chan, who are apparently planning on tracking down “Jackie” and releasing personal details about her life. Keep reading »